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Railways’ mega plans under new minister Ashwini Vaishnaw; here’s a look

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State-of-the-art Vande Bharat trains, boost to export of indigenous tech, new model for station modernisation on rail minister's agenda.

Railways’ mega plans under new minister Ashwini Vaishnaw; here’s a look
World-class Vande Bharat trains, redevelopment of stations and a foray into global markets with indigenous technology are some of the areas the Indian Railways is working on under new Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Indian Express reported.
As per officials quoted by the newspaper, Vaishnaw has overhauled the Vande Bharat project. Now, the new trains will get an upgrade in terms of passenger comfort and quality of ride.
The officials added that Indian Railways is eyeing exports on a large scale. Globally, India is only the ninth country to manufacture 180-kmph trainsets at the existing prices and the Vande Bharat trains are relatively low-priced when compared to their international counterparts.
The Railways’ station redevelopment project in partnership with entities of the private sector is also being restructured. The Model Concession Agreement for this plan might be reworked with the aim of making it more appealing to the private sector and the Railways.
The Indian Railways has another ambitious plan of running passenger trains in a public-private partnerships (PPP) model. It had opened 12 clusters for the process of bidding but has managed to receive bids for only three. After the underwhelming response, it is now mulling a complete overhaul of the model.
As far as its freight business is concerned, the Indian Railways is now looking for a model to cut logistics costs and make their tariffs more competitive. It is also planning to develop its own train collision avoidance system (TCAS). Once ready, it will be rolled out across 10,000 km with the help of different manufacturing partners.
Vaishnaw is believed to have sent out instructions for the prompt execution of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project. His focus is on the portion that lies in Gujarat, where the process of land acquisition is almost done.